There’s a cost to following Christ in Muslim-majority nations. Open Doors cites “Islamic oppression” as the primary driver of persecution in seven of the top ten countries on its World Watch List.
Tom Doyle says Uncharted Ministries helps believers from a Muslim background grow in Jesus and stand firm through persecution. “We have to let people know the reality of the situation they’re entering,” Doyle says.
“This is not just a ‘come to church next week and you get to go to the New Members class [situation]’.”
In the Middle East and beyond, Uncharted supports and encourages persecuted believers like Hussein.
Prior to meeting Jesus, Hussein was a devout Muslim. He was destined to become the sheikh of a large region in the heart of the Middle East where Hussein’s family is extremely influential. “The problem was this: he had something going on in his head that the doctors could not explain,” Doyle says.
“[Doctors] checked for brain tumors, they checked everything. They couldn’t figure out what was going on.”
One night, Hussein dreamed of a man in white. This man touched Hussein’s face and said, “Hussein, I’m going to heal you.” Upon waking, Hussein “feels something wet. He reaches for his pillow, and there’s blood that’s come out of his ear,” Doyle says.
“He’s been healed completely. There is no pain. For the first time in over a year, he is pain-free.”
Moved by this experience, Hussein sought out believers from a Muslim background who could explain the Christian faith to him. Despite their many warnings of persecution – after all, Hussein’s father would not permit his son to become an “infidel” – Hussein surrendered his life to Jesus.
…and Jesus protects
The believers’ warnings proved true; Hussein’s family has tried to kill him several times. However, “God has protected him through all the attacks,” Doyle says.
For example, Hussein’s father tried to murder him by hitting his head repeatedly with a hammer. Hussein fled for his life, but he didn’t have to go to a hospital. “He said that Jesus healed his jaw,” Doyle says. “He knew it was broken; he heard it snap [during the attack].”
A few weeks ago, Hussein’s father hired gunmen to kill him. Their bullets barely missed him, but Hussein wasn’t thinking of revenge or self-pity. His mind was, and is, fixed on Christ.
“The gunman my father ordered to kill me missed! Jesus protected me again. I love HIM so much!”
How to help believers from a Muslim background
Today, Hussein is hiding in a secret location because “there are 10 major families in his city that go back several centuries [and] anyone in [those families] is authorized to kill him if they see him,” Doyle explains.
At least one person from each family has met privately with Hussein…but not to kill him. Instead, Hussein tells Doyle, they’re asking him about Jesus.
“He says, ‘I don’t know if I’m going to live for a day, a week, or 20 years, but I’m living my life for Jesus and I’m ready to count the cause’.”
Pray for Hussein and other believers from a Muslim background as they risk everything to make Christ known in the Middle East.